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Bruin News Round Up

You can just sense of the start of the football season (well training camps) as articles are starting to pop up all over the place. Brian Dohn has an interesting interview with former Bruin head coach Bob Toledo, who UCLA fired for not beating SC and for having off-field issues.:

Toledo's downfall at UCLA was, aside from four consecutive losses to USC, off-the-field issues, including the 1999 scandal in which more than a dozen players were charged with misusing handicapped parking placards.

But offensively, the Bruins were more Hollywood than Westwood. They scored points, threw the ball all over the Rose Bowl, and were always good for a trick play or three to excite the crowd. During Toledo's tenure, UCLA had four of the top six season averages in attendance, including a school-best 73,709 in 1998.
Make sure to read the whole article which also makes it clear Toledo is bitter about how the firing went down. I don't have the same ill feelings towards Toledo that I have towards Lavin. That 20 game winning streak we will all remember for rest of our lives. Also, despite his recruiting efforts taking a dive in his last 2 seasons in his first few years he was bringing in highly ranked recruiting classes which Dorrell still has not been able to match. Don't get me wrong. UCLA did the absolute right thing in firing Toledo. All I am saying things haven't really improved all that much since his departure. We have cleaned up our off-field issues quiet a bit. However, our defense is still a joke. Our recruiting doesn't have the same pull it did during the peak Toledo years (if anything talent gap has widened not just against USC but we are also falling behind Cal) and Dorrell still hasn't beaten USC.

Meanwhile, speaking of our game against USC, some interesting news from a newspaper out of TN of all places:
I mentioned in this space a few weeks ago that UCLA and Southern California had requested NCAA permission to wear their regular home jerseys when they meet late this fall.

UCLA would be decked out in blue, while Southern California would take the field in its easily-recognized cardinal jerseys. A match of two tradition-rich schools wearing their proud colors in a classic autumn setting.

The rule for requiring white uniforms for visiting teams would be waived.

But, nope. Can't have that, says the NCAA bureaucracy, administering another kick in the teeth against the unquestioned advantage college football enjoys over the pros when it relates to tradition.

The rule, adopted 40 years ago to accommodate black-and-white television, demands starkly contrasting uniforms. Again the NCAA, instead of broadening its popularity by exploiting fans' affection for their school colors, dropped the ball.
It's weird that we are getting this story from a TN paper considering we have heard nothing from any of the LA papers. Neither did we see any recent discussion on it. So I guess we will find out later what the story is. Regardless if this true it's a bummer. The boys from Trojan Haters Club are bummed out too. I was really excited about the prospect of an old school UCLA-SC game with both teams wearing their home jerseys this December.

Another sign of football season being around the corner. The flood gates of online previews. This time it's from Fox Sports. Actually it is written up for Fox Sports by Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com. All though Pete lays out all the caveats about how UCLA should be having a "rebuilding season" (in Dorrell's 4th year in Westwood), I thought this 'graf was pretty money:
If UCLA is above-average, it should at least be 4-1 going into the nasty road trip to Eugene, and should reasonably expect to be 5-0. A win at Oregon would do wonders for the young team's confidence going into the Notre Dame game and would be a must with Pac 10 games ahead against heavyweights Cal, Arizona State and USC.
If UCLA is not an "above-average" football program by middle of Karl Dorrell's fourth season, what has he been doing for last four years in Westwood? So it looks like 5-0 is more than a reasonable expectation which falls in line for our expectation of a 9 win season with a victory over USC.

GO BRUINS.